|Chicago-style hot dog|
The canonical recipe does not include ketchup, and there is a widely shared, strong opinion among many Chicagoans and aficionados that ketchup is unacceptable. A number of Chicago hot dog vendors do not offer ketchup as a condiment.
Many sources attribute the distinctive collection of toppings on a Chicago-style wiener to historic Maxwell Street and the "Depression Sandwich" reportedly originated by Fluky's in 1929 The founders of Vienna Beef frankfurters—the most common brand served today, first sold at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago—and the proprietors of Fluky's were both Jewish, which may account for the wieners' pork-free, kosher-style character.
The "dragged through the garden" style is heavily promoted by Vienna Beef and Red Hot Chicago, the two most prominent Chicago hot dog manufacturers, but exceptions are common, with vendors adding cucumber slices or lettuce, omitting poppyseeds or celery salt, or using plain relish or a skinless hot dog. Several popular hot dog stands serve a simpler version: a steamed natural-casing dog with only mustard, onions, plain relish and sport peppers, wrapped up with hand-cut french fries, while the historic Superdawg drive-ins notably substitute a pickled tomato for fresh. Many vendors, including Portillo's, offer a Chicago-style dog with cheese sauce, known as a cheese-dog.
Chicago-style hot dogs are cooked in hot water or steamed before adding the toppings. A less
|A char-dog with ends cut cervelat-style|
The typical beef hot dog weighs 1/8 of a pound or 2 ounces (57 g) and the most traditional type features a natural casing, providing a distinctive "snap" when bitten.
The buns are a high-gluten variety made to hold up to steam warming, typically the S. Rosen's Mary Ann brand from Alpha Baking Company.
The Chicago area has more hot dog restaurants than McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King restaurants combined. A "hot dog stand" in Chicago may serve many other items, including the
|Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo's|
Portillo's is the top vendor of this variation of hot dog regionally. After Portillo's, Boz Hot Dogs (aka Bozo's) and Scooby's Red Hots have the most locations and thus also are top vendors of Chicago Style Red Hots.